If we have the technology…

Posted on: December 13th, 2012 by admin No Comments

If we have the technology, are we obligated to use it?

The question has been around since man invented the wheel.

There is a saying in the RV business – Man invented the wheel 5,000 years ago, the next week his trailer lights stopped working.

Technology has been improving in our industry for nearly one hundred years, with motors becoming so efficient that efficiency levels have risen into the mid-90% range. You can now buy an electric motor that, coupled with the proper electronic drive and programmed properly, will perform just about any task you demand of it.

However, the fact that we have the technology to do something does not always justify its existence. We can couple an electric motor to a drive that will allow us to rotate the shaft 3,786.145 revolutions, then stop and hold the shaft in that position all day without overheating the motor. But if you’re interested only in running your air compressor in the garage would the cost of extra bells and whistles be justified?

If you have ever used a GPS you likely know this situation all too well. I recently used my Smart Phones GPS Navigator to locate a street address. A problem arose when the GPS was unaware that the street it had directed me onto did not go from where I was to where I wanted to go. Between points A and B was a large valley, with a creek at the bottom, and no bridge forming a navigable link. I had to drive back nine miles to where I had spotted a sign (you remember what those are don’t you?) that directed me to the other end of the same road.

Another foray into the unknown with my GPS found me at the dead end of a street, staring across a railroad yard at my objective, visible but just as unobtainable as if I’d gone east bound onto the west bound lane of the Highway to Heaven.

Often it boils down to an “old” term that was invented to explain the failure of technology – G.I.G.O. Garbage In, Garbage Out. We didn’t have G.I.G.O. when I was growing up in Wisconsin. If you stopped at a service station (remember those?) to ask directions you could be sure that at least three of the four guys that were sitting out front on up-ended Pepsi cases would know how to get you from wherever you were to wherever you wanted to go. If they didn’t know where Ma & Pa’s Drug Store was they’d look it up in the Yellow Pages. The only Yellow Pages in town (and usually the only YP in the four surrounding towns too)!

Now we have three Yellow Pages in town and, if that’s not High Tech enough, there are thirty seven on-line Yellow Pages, each one extolling their services over the others. But what if none of them can “get it right”?

We moved into a larger building in March of 2011, to better serve our customers. In December of 2011 the new phone books came out and, despite having been notified of the address change, two of the three YP have our listing wrong. It turns out that all three print information from the same source. They’re not about to reprint thousands of phone books so that our customers can locate us (read the fine print inside the cover) so we’re stuck with G.I.G.O. for the next year.

Luckily, no one uses the printed phone book anymore. “Everyone looks up information on-line” I am told by the thirty seven companies who call us every other week to try to sell us advertising space in their on-line service. The problem here is that no one is responsible for the information contained in their listings. We spent hours sending notices to the plethora of on-line folks who claim to be the best at what they do. If we are successful in getting them to update our listing we seem to magically regress to G.I.G.O again if we don’t pay for their services. Even GoogleMaps and MapQuest had trouble keeping the updated information on their service sites. After a couple of tries, we seem to have straightened that out now but heaven only knows what will show up on the next “search”.

For the record, Gem State Electric Motors and Pumps is located at 112 E. 45th Street, Boise, Idaho 83714 (we’re actually in Garden City, but if I told you that you would still be trying to figure out where Garden City is). Our phone number is now, and has been for many years: (208) 344-5461. See our web-site for our toll-free number, fax number, e-mail address and even my cell phone number!

Call me and we’ll send you a list of twelve things you can do with your phone book. Now that’s service!



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